This week, Christiane Amanpour, chief international anchor for CNN, compared President Donald Trump’s administration to the horrifying massacre of Jewish people in Nazi Germany in the 1930s.
“Welcome to the program, everyone,” she began. “I’m Christiane Amanpour in London. This week, 82 years ago, Kristallnacht happened. It was the Nazis’ warning shot across the bow of our human civilization that led to genocide against a whole identity and in that tower of burning books, it led to an attack of fact, knowledge, history, and truth.”
She went on to say: “After four years of a modern-day assault on those same values by Donald Trump, the Biden-Harris team pledges a return to norms, including the truth. And everyday, Joe Biden makes presidential announcements about good governance and the health and security of the American people, while the great brooding figure of his defeated opponent rages, conducting purges of perceived enemies and preventing a transition.”
What was she referring to?
From Nov. 9 to Nov. 10, 1938, Nazis in Germany ransacked Jewish businesses, schools, and homes, and torched synagogues. The massacre — known as “Kristallnacht” or the “Night of Broken Glass” — resulted in the death of nearly 100 Jewish people, according to History.
In the aftermath of the attack, some 30,000 Jewish men were arrested and transported to Nazi concentration camps. Prior to Kristallnacht, German Jews had been subject to repressive policies put in place by Adolf Hitler. Those polices, though, had been largely nonviolent. Following Kristallnacht, conditions for Jewish people in Germany only grew worse.
The U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum described Kristallnacht as “a turning point in the history of the Third Reich, marking the shift from anti-Semitic rhetoric and legislation to the violent, aggressive anti-Jewish measures that would culminate in the Holocaust.”
What was the reaction?
Amanpour was criticized almost immediately for her comparison.
“How the [expletive] is this sort of prejudice tolerated on mainstream media?” asked former Brexit Party Parliamentarian Ben Habib. “Third rate rubbish.”
American actor Matthew Davis replied: “Lowest of low. They believe their audience is stupid, and ya half wonder if they’re right. This type of egregious demagoguery should be illegal and CNN should retract this garbage.”
British sports commentator Ross Dyer wrote: “As someone who lost many ancestors in the Shoah [Holocaust], I find this comparison to be utterly false and highly offensive. If anything, it is the Democratic Party [and] MSM who have pursued the policy of a 21st century Kristallnacht vs. our freedoms [and] values. Look in the mirror, Amanpour.”
Media Research Center Vice President Dan Gainer described the segment as “disgusting” and said CNN should be “embarrassed” by Amanpour’s words.
“This is disgusting and foul, even for CNN,” he told Fox News. “And considering the trash put out by that network, that’s really an amazing thing.”
The Orthodox Jewish Public Affairs Council, a group dedicated to countering the defamation and generalization of the Orthodox Jewish community, called Amanpour’s segment “despicable.”
“[Amanpour] compares verbal fact checking of a [president] to a Nazi pogrom in which dozens of Jews were murdered,” OJPAC tweeted Friday. “Amanpour uses the book burning of Kristallnacht to reach this comparison thus ignoring the overall deadliness and human cost of the night.”
“This is not the ‘typical’ comparison of a political figure to Hitler or Nazism, which is sadly done too often,” the statement continued. “[Amanpour] took a verbal fact checking thing about a politician and compared it to a specific violent and deadly event (Kristallnacht) by the Nazis.”
Amanpour has not yet addressed any of the criticism.